Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez pays tribute to Hillsborough victims ahead of 21st anniversary memorial service
Rafa Benitez has paid tribute to the people of Liverpool ahead of the Hillsborough memorial service.
It is the 21st anniversary of the disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 fans, and a memorial service was in front of a crowd of 10,000 at Anfield on Thursday afternoon.
The service is Benitez's sixth as Reds boss, and he revealed his respect for the city of Liverpool, its people and the football club, as well as stressing the importance of the date for everyone at the club and wider community.
He said: 'Since I've been here it's always been very, very emotional.
'All the players and all the staff are always there trying to support the families because it is a very important day for the club.
'The first time I went to the memorial service I was so impressed by what happens at this club. You can see the people and all the feelings.
'It's a poignant occasion to keep everyone remembering.'
The Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Reverend James Jones, who is chairman of the Hillsborough Independent Panel which will oversee the release of documents on the tragedy not previously made public, said he hoped the victims' families would finally be given closure on the event.
'What has struck me already in listening to the families and survivors is their need to simply have the story told fully,' he said.
'What prevents anybody from being able to move on is when you feel the whole story has not been told.
'What I hope, through the maximum disclosure of these documents, is that the fullest story will be told and that will help everybody who grieves and who survived.
'When you know what has happened is in the public domain, and everybody knows what happened, that helps you to come to terms with such a terrible tragedy.' DailyMail